12 months ago
blockedonweibo:
雪山狮子旗 (snow lion flag  / xuěshān shīzi qí) was the state and military flag of Tibet. It has six red bands representing the six original ancestors of Tibet, a rising sun over a mountain, the three-colored jewel of the Buddha, and a pair of snow lions, Tibet’s national emblem. Though it was the official flag of Tibet, it was rarely used before 1959, when China took control of the region.
Why it is blocked: After the failed Tibetan rebellion of 1959, the Dalai Lama went into exile. The snow lion flag soon came to represent the Tibetan independence movement and is now a well-known symbol of the Free Tibet movement. The flag is no longer recognized by China, as it is considered an affront to its sovereignty over Tibet.

blockedonweibo:

雪山狮子旗 (snow lion flag  / xuěshān shīzi qí) was the state and military flag of Tibet. It has six red bands representing the six original ancestors of Tibet, a rising sun over a mountain, the three-colored jewel of the Buddha, and a pair of snow lions, Tibet’s national emblem. Though it was the official flag of Tibet, it was rarely used before 1959, when China took control of the region.

Why it is blocked: After the failed Tibetan rebellion of 1959, the Dalai Lama went into exile. The snow lion flag soon came to represent the Tibetan independence movement and is now a well-known symbol of the Free Tibet movement. The flag is no longer recognized by China, as it is considered an affront to its sovereignty over Tibet.

1 year ago

Crocodile in the Yangtze follows China’s first Internet entrepreneur and former English teacher, Jack Ma, as he battles US giant eBay on the way to building China’s first global Internet company, Alibaba Group. An independent memoir written, directed and produced by an American who worked in Ma’s company for eight years, Crocodile in the Yangtze captures the emotional ups and downs of life in a Chinese Internet startup at a time when the Internet brought China face-to-face with the West.

Crocodile in the Yangtze draws on 200 hours of archival footage filmed by over 35 sources between 1995 and 2009. The film presents a strikingly candid portrait of Ma and his company, told from the point of view of an American fly on a Chinese wall who witnessed the successes and the mistakes Alibaba encountered as it grew from a small apartment into a global company employing 16,000 staff.

1 year ago

High Tech, Low Life follows two of China’s first citizen-reporters as they document the underside of the country’s rapid economic development. A search for truth and fame inspires young vegetable seller “Zola” to report on censored news stories from the cities, while retired businessman “Tiger Temple” makes sense of the past by chronicling the struggles of rural villagers. Land grabs, pollution, rising poverty, local corruption and the growing willingness of ordinary people to speak out are grist for these two bloggers who navigate China’s evolving censorship regulations and challenge the boundaries of free speech.

1 year ago 1 year ago
1 year ago
Cannes is a place for shocks, jolts and surprises. This change of artistic direction from Chinese film-maker Jia Zhang-ke offers plenty. He has been known until this moment for an intensely considered, quiet documentary realism — particularly in the 2006 movie Still Life, about communities preparing to be drowned in the service of China's Three Gorges hydro-electric Dam. So this brash, daring and often ultraviolent movie is atypical to say the least, avowedly inspired by the wuxia martial arts films of King Hu, but it has clear debts to Tarantino's riffs on this same genre, and to Sergio Leone. The idea of Jia Zhang-ke making his own Pulp Fiction or A Fistful of Dollars (or rather yen) might before now have seemed fanciful. But that is what he has done — or almost.In fact, A Touch of Sin eventually moves back to the calmer, realist cinematic language more associated with this director in its final act. And the film is in any case not simply a racy adventure in exploitation, but an angry, painful, satirical lunge into what the director clearly sees as the dark heart of modern China, and a real attempt to represent this to audiences elsewhere in the world. He sees China as a globalised economic power player suffering a new and violent Cultural Revolution of money-worship in which a cronyist elite has become super-rich in the liquidation of state assets, creating poisonous envy in the dispossessed who hear all about others’ wealth from the internet, and are supposed to gossip aspirationally about it on their mobile phones. A key scene in the film shows someone brooding over Weibo, the Chinese equivalent of Twitter.It is a fractured and divided story, like shards of a shattered mirror. Different strands and characters and stories emerge, tangentially concerned with each other. Jia has taken his plotlines from newspapers, violent stories of criminal despair, and by meshing them together, these tales, often involving guns, build up a picture of China as a desolate Wild West of lawless violence and cynicism. A worker erupts with anger at how the mine-chief has somehow been able to afford a sports car and to lease a private plane. Three brothers coming back to their hometown for their mother’s birthday reveal themselves to be deeply unhappy in various ways, and the unhappiness somehow always manifests itself in violence. Two have handguns: one casually slays three guys who have attempted to rob him on the road. Another, who has been telling his wife he has been travelling the country looking for work, reveals himself to be an ice-cool armed robber who doesn’t scruple to murder women in cold blood for their expensive designer bags. Another is having an affair with a sauna receptionist (played by Jia’s longtime leading actor Zhao Tao) and this too ends in a bloody confrontation.Only in the final section does this arguably overlong movie calm down a little: spinning off into the story of a young man who finds work as a waiter in a bizarre brothel-hostess club for wealthy plutocrats and foreigners, the girls being ironically dressed in skimpy outfits as the soldiers and workers of the Maoist past. But the violence hangs over the film like a haze: gunshot wounds to the face, ugly and very real-looking fistfights. This is a bitter, jagged, disaffected drama, pessimistic about China, pessimistic about the whole world. One characters asks another if he ever feels like travelling abroad. “Why would I?” he replies. “Everywhere is broke. Foreigners come here now.” Jia Zhang-ke’s movie gives us a brutal unwelcome.
A Touch of Sin by Jia Zhang-Ke (view the trailer)

Cannes is a place for shocks, jolts and surprises. This change of artistic direction from Chinese film-maker Jia Zhang-ke offers plenty. He has been known until this moment for an intensely considered, quiet documentary realism — particularly in the 2006 movie Still Life, about communities preparing to be drowned in the service of China's Three Gorges hydro-electric Dam. So this brash, daring and often ultraviolent movie is atypical to say the least, avowedly inspired by the wuxia martial arts films of King Hu, but it has clear debts to Tarantino's riffs on this same genre, and to Sergio Leone. The idea of Jia Zhang-ke making his own Pulp Fiction or A Fistful of Dollars (or rather yen) might before now have seemed fanciful. But that is what he has done — or almost.

In fact, A Touch of Sin eventually moves back to the calmer, realist cinematic language more associated with this director in its final act. And the film is in any case not simply a racy adventure in exploitation, but an angry, painful, satirical lunge into what the director clearly sees as the dark heart of modern China, and a real attempt to represent this to audiences elsewhere in the world. He sees China as a globalised economic power player suffering a new and violent Cultural Revolution of money-worship in which a cronyist elite has become super-rich in the liquidation of state assets, creating poisonous envy in the dispossessed who hear all about others’ wealth from the internet, and are supposed to gossip aspirationally about it on their mobile phones. A key scene in the film shows someone brooding over Weibo, the Chinese equivalent of Twitter.

It is a fractured and divided story, like shards of a shattered mirror. Different strands and characters and stories emerge, tangentially concerned with each other. Jia has taken his plotlines from newspapers, violent stories of criminal despair, and by meshing them together, these tales, often involving guns, build up a picture of China as a desolate Wild West of lawless violence and cynicism. A worker erupts with anger at how the mine-chief has somehow been able to afford a sports car and to lease a private plane. Three brothers coming back to their hometown for their mother’s birthday reveal themselves to be deeply unhappy in various ways, and the unhappiness somehow always manifests itself in violence. Two have handguns: one casually slays three guys who have attempted to rob him on the road. Another, who has been telling his wife he has been travelling the country looking for work, reveals himself to be an ice-cool armed robber who doesn’t scruple to murder women in cold blood for their expensive designer bags. Another is having an affair with a sauna receptionist (played by Jia’s longtime leading actor Zhao Tao) and this too ends in a bloody confrontation.

Only in the final section does this arguably overlong movie calm down a little: spinning off into the story of a young man who finds work as a waiter in a bizarre brothel-hostess club for wealthy plutocrats and foreigners, the girls being ironically dressed in skimpy outfits as the soldiers and workers of the Maoist past. But the violence hangs over the film like a haze: gunshot wounds to the face, ugly and very real-looking fistfights. 

This is a bitter, jagged, disaffected drama, pessimistic about China, pessimistic about the whole world. One characters asks another if he ever feels like travelling abroad. “Why would I?” he replies. “Everywhere is broke. Foreigners come here now.” Jia Zhang-ke’s movie gives us a brutal unwelcome.

A Touch of Sin by Jia Zhang-Ke (view the trailer)

1 year ago
Contest to kill 100 people using a sword
In 1937, the Osaka Mainichi Shimbun and its sister newspaper the Tokyo Nichi Nichi Shimbun covered a “contest” between two Japanese officers, Toshiaki Mukai (向井敏明) and Tsuyoshi Noda (野田毅), both from Island troops, the Japanese 16th Division, in which the two men were described as vying with one another to be the first to kill 100 people with a sword before the capture of Nanking. From Jurong to Tangshan (two cities in Jiangshu Province, China), Toshiaki Mukai had killed 89 people while Tsuyoshi Noda had killed 78 people. The contest continued because neither of them had killed 100 people. When they got to Zijin Mountain, Tsuyoshi Noda had killed 105 people while Toshiaki Mukai killed 106 people. Both officers supposedly surpassed their goal during the heat of battle, making it impossible to determine which officer had actually won the contest. Therefore (according to the journalists Asami Kazuo and Suzuki Jiro, writing in the Tokyo Nichi-Nichi Shimbun of December 13), they decided to begin another contest, with the aim being 150 kills. The Nichi Nichi headline of the story of December 13 read “‘Incredible Record’ [in the Contest to] Behead 100 People—Mukai 106 – 105 Noda—Both 2nd Lieutenants Go Into Extra Innings”.

Contest to kill 100 people using a sword

In 1937, the Osaka Mainichi Shimbun and its sister newspaper the Tokyo Nichi Nichi Shimbun covered a “contest” between two Japanese officers, Toshiaki Mukai (向井敏明) and Tsuyoshi Noda (野田毅), both from Island troops, the Japanese 16th Division, in which the two men were described as vying with one another to be the first to kill 100 people with a sword before the capture of Nanking. From Jurong to Tangshan (two cities in Jiangshu Province, China), Toshiaki Mukai had killed 89 people while Tsuyoshi Noda had killed 78 people. The contest continued because neither of them had killed 100 people. When they got to Zijin Mountain, Tsuyoshi Noda had killed 105 people while Toshiaki Mukai killed 106 people. Both officers supposedly surpassed their goal during the heat of battle, making it impossible to determine which officer had actually won the contest. Therefore (according to the journalists Asami Kazuo and Suzuki Jiro, writing in the Tokyo Nichi-Nichi Shimbun of December 13), they decided to begin another contest, with the aim being 150 kills. The Nichi Nichi headline of the story of December 13 read “‘Incredible Record’ [in the Contest to] Behead 100 People—Mukai 106 – 105 Noda—Both 2nd Lieutenants Go Into Extra Innings”.

1 year ago

Hong Kong (CNN) — The number of Tibetans in China who have set themselves on fire to protest Beijing’s rule has reached 100, according to Tibetan advocacy groups.

Lobsang Namgyal, a 37-year-old former monk, set himself on fire earlier this month in Aba prefecture, known in Tibetan as Ngaba, an ethnically Tibetan area of the Chinese province of Sichuan, according to Free Tibet, a London-based advocacy group.

"This grim milestone should be a source of shame to the Chinese authorities who are responsible and to the world leaders who have yet to show any leadership in response to the ongoing crisis in Tibet," said Stephanie Brigden, the director of Free Tibet.

Self-immolation has become a desperate form of protest in recent years for ethnic Tibetans unhappy with Chinese rule, and it shows no sign of abating.

Of the 100 Tibetans who have now set themselves on fire in China, at least 82 are believed to have died from the act, according to the International Campaign for Tibet.

(Editor’s note: Let’s be real. China is one of the worst countries when it comes to human rights.)

1 year ago